Is Google Plus Dead?
Originally launched in 2011 Google Plus (Google +) was set to be the next big thing in social media with the expectation of overshadowing Facebook. We’d seen it happen before when Facebook overtook MySpace in the social media popularity contest so it was possible it could happen again.
My first introduction to social media was MySpace. Whoa…I think I just aged myself a little bit there but I digress. Anyway, MySpace was the place where you could change your background settings and songs and make your page uniquely you anytime you felt like it. You could shuffle around your top 8 friends daily depending on your mood! How could it get any better? Introduce, Facebook.
Since the inception of Facebook in 2004 the platform has undergone huge changes. While some have been skeptical we all know the only thing constant in life is change and Facebook has never shied away from making changes good, bad or otherwise. So how did Facebook overtake MySpace in social media popularity? I’m glad you asked. According to former MySpace CEO Mike Jones, MySpace was just the introduction to social media while Facebook works to perfect the social media world. One of the biggest differences noted was that MySpace didn’t allow users to use their real name but rather a pseudonym while Facebook encouraged users to post their real names to better to connect with others.
When Google Plus was launched, Facebook had already been active for 6 years with millions of users worldwide making them a formidable social media opponent. There were now personal and business pages, sponsored ads and groups to join. So where would Google Plus fall into the mix? Initially Google Plus was designed to integrate all Google services to allow the users to be more transparent with the people they communicated with the most through a variety of ways including Hangouts and Circles which are currently still active. The idea was that you could arrange your circles to communicate with certain people through posts, videos or blogs etc.
Similar to Facebook, with Google Plus you can check into a location and let your followers know where you have been or what you have been up to. One of the most popular uses was Google photo’s which has since been separated from Google Plus and is its own program. So, in a nutshell, why is Google Plus still active and is it worth it to spend time and energy on?
In a word, yes. While Google Plus may not be the most active social media site the hidden perk is SEO. Search Engine Optimization. When you post on Google Plus you increase your SEO on Google and increased SEO is always a good idea. Key words, photos and tags will help direct traffic to your posts which if linked, will direct back to your website or whatever you are posting about. Talk about a win-win. Facebook may be the leader in being social, but Google Plus is the winner for SEO. According to a Stone Temple Consulting study, 90% of users with a Google+ profile have never posted to the network. So you may wonder, how can it work, how is it beneficial if people don’t post to it? From a study conducted by Statistic Brain 70% of brands have a presence on Google Plus proving that for business purposes it is a useful tool.